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Engineering Materials
Self-Healing Gel Could Replace Cartilage
10/3/2012

A new flexible, self-healing hydrogel that could replace cartilage can be stretched it to 21 times its length before breaking.   (Source: Jeong-Yun Sun/Harvard University)
A new flexible, self-healing hydrogel that could replace cartilage can be stretched it to 21 times its length before breaking.
(Source: Jeong-Yun Sun/Harvard University)

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NadineJ
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Re: Replacement for cartilage is intriguing
NadineJ   10/4/2012 1:11:27 PM
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We're several years aay from knee replacements.  I'm not sure if even Baby Boomers will benefit from this on a large scale.  I haven't read anything about computer trails or even animal testing yet.

The fact that two relatively weak hydrogels were combined to create something amazing and strong is another lesson for many.  Finding the right combination in the right scale is, very often, the key to innovation.

Rob Spiegel
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Re: Replacement for cartilage is intriguing
Rob Spiegel   10/4/2012 12:50:10 PM
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Ann, I'll ask a question that I've asked before, but in a slightly broader way. All of this surprising new technology -- are these developments accelerating, or does it just seem that way because you're shining a light in a lot of disparate corners? It sure seems there's a flood of shocking advancements in medical and robotics.

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Knee Cartilage
Ann R. Thryft   10/4/2012 12:00:06 PM
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Mydesign, I agree. In fact, I've got a knee like you describe.

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Replacement for cartilage is intriguing
Ann R. Thryft   10/4/2012 11:59:34 AM
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Rob, you're right, I do sometimes feel like a SF writer. I guess this is the closest I can get.

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Replacement for cartilage is intriguing
Ann R. Thryft   10/4/2012 11:59:03 AM
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Chuck, I wish this tech was a lot closer to commercialization so it could be used now for people like your son.

Mydesign
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Re: Replacement for cartilage is intriguing
Mydesign   10/4/2012 6:54:49 AM
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Charles, now there are some magnetic therapy treatments are available for regeneration of cartilages. I know some of the patient who had undergone the treatment and feels better. But so far it is not proved or accepted by any medical council.

Mydesign
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Knee Cartilage
Mydesign   10/4/2012 6:51:49 AM
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Ann, that's a new and interesting technology. Most of the old peoples have severe pain in their knees due to the wear and tear in cartilages around and beneath the knee cap. Any idea how we can apply this to the knee.

Rob Spiegel
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Re: Replacement for cartilage is intriguing
Rob Spiegel   10/4/2012 12:49:38 AM
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That video says a lot, Ann. At this point, you must feel like a science fiction writer. Story after story you reveal shocking new technology.

Charles Murray
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Re: Replacement for cartilage is intriguing
Charles Murray   10/3/2012 6:51:28 PM
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This is amazing and sorely needed. For some young patients who have had a lot of cartilage removed, the only other alternative to is to use cadaver cartilage or an artificial knee. One of my college-age sons is now in this situation. If there was an artificial alternative that wouldn't be rejected by the body, it would be a godsend.

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Replacement for cartilage is intriguing
Ann R. Thryft   10/3/2012 1:52:14 PM
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Dave, I agree. I found the technical discussion a bit dense, but the ability to stretch and recover, notch or no notch, is apparently due to a mix of strong and weak molecular integration and the (resulting?) crosslinked networks.

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